New U-High Principal for the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools Begins July 1

New U-High Principal for the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools Begins July 1

Martin L. Woods

The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools is pleased to announce the appointment of Martin L. Woods as the new principal of University High School (U-High) for the upcoming 2023–2024 school year, effective July 1, 2023.

“Out of a large, diverse, and talented pool of candidates, Martin drew admiration from our community and wholehearted support from our Search Committee for his warmth embrace of Lab’s mission and values, and success in furthering impactful academics, supporting students, and building bridges,” said Director of Schools Tori Jueds. “In partnership with our world-class faculty, outstanding student body, and dedicated families, I am confident that his vision will uplift our program and community in the next chapter of U-High greatness.”

Woods joins Lab from Wolcott College Prep, where he has served on the four-person executive leadership team since 2018. He is an accomplished educator and leader with extensive experience in the field. Having spent nearly 15 years as Head of Electives for private and charter schools, he is well-versed in creating and implementing innovative curricula, as well as providing staff development and coaching. He also brings a unique perspective to the field with his background in corporate, educational, and artistic arenas as a skilled arts administrator and innovator. Wood’s background as a classically trained vocalist/actor has also given him the opportunity to perform on national stages such as the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Atlanta Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Opera Theater, and the Goodman Theatre. He has also provided background vocals for popular artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Beyoncé Knowles, Heather Headley, Michael McDonald, Common, Kim Burrell, and Smokie Norful.

A native Chicagoan, Woods was drawn to U-High’s reputation for excellence and commitment to honoring diversity, and was particularly thrilled to learn that his favorite poet, Langston Hughes, once taught at Lab. Woods calls himself “honored and excited to partner with the prestigious University of Chicago Lab Schools and to contribute to the excellent academic and student life experience that has been associated with this institution,” saying further: “I look forward to getting to know the members of this community as we join together to honor our past and look to the future of U-High.”

Woods’ passion for education, school culture, and student engagement is driven by the principles of community building, diversity, inclusion, education equity, individuality, and social justice. He currently holds a BA from Morehouse College, a MA and professional diploma from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, a professional certificate in Inclusion and Diversity from the Yale University School of Management, and a certificate in High-Performance Leadership from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

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